WASHINGTON — The last thing a smartphone user wants to do when first using a new social media app is read through pages and pages of legal language, even if the user is agreeing to outrageous conditions.
Students in a university were told their school was working with a fledgling social network, called NameDrop, and students would be participating in a pre-launch evaluation.
What the students didn’t know was NameDrop was phony — created only for the study.
Another condition said users may be required to give their first-born child to NameDrop, through the year 2050.
The study, whose authors are affiliated with York University, Michigan State University and the University of Connecticut, found even students who read the phony clauses signed up for the social network anyway.
The authors conclude the current method of alerting users to their conditions of privacy and social network use terms is ineffective, and suggested finding other ways of providing that information.
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